We sure spent a lot of time in our homes in 2020.
And the longer we spent confined within those walls, the more projects we noticed needing to be done.
Home projects can be expensive, but we savvy penny hoarders know we can find ways to cut costs.
Here are our top nine stories from this year on how to save money on home improvement projects.
1. Maximize Your Space Instead of Getting a Bigger Home
It might feel like your home is bursting at the studs, but upgrading to a bigger apartment or adding on a new addition won’t exactly save you money.
Get creative and find ways to maximize the space in your home instead. A closet can be converted to a small home office or remote-learning nook. Clearing away clutter can provide more living space. Room dividers are great ways to give household members a little needed privacy.
2. Make Downsizing a Breeze by Minimizing Your Belongings
Moving to smaller living quarters is often a great way to save on monthly housing expenses. But when you transition to a space with less square footage, you’ll have to make some tough choices on what you can bring with you.
These six tips on how to minimize can help you pare down your belongings so you can enjoy your new (less costly) digs.
3. Refresh Your Kitchen Without an Entire Renovation
Wishes for new cabinetry and more counter space don’t have to be fulfilled by a total kitchen remodel. Some paint, updated cabinet pulls, smart storage solutions and a major decluttering session can make a huge difference at a fraction of the cost.
We turned to a few experts for tips on how to refresh your kitchen on a budget. Spoiler alert: None of the advice requires a sledgehammer for demolition.
4. Pull Off a Bathroom Makeover Without Professional Help
When you can’t go to the spa, the next best thing is to create a spa setting at home. A grungy, outdated bathroom doesn’t exactly scream “relax.”
Rather than calling a contractor for a major bathroom renovation, there are several jobs you can do yourself to keep expenses low. Check out this advice from home pros on affordable DIY bathroom upgrades.
5. Learn How to Get Good Bids from the Professionals
When you’ve got a job that’s beyond your scope, you want to hire the best person — one who’s within your budget, of course.
But how do you find good help? What questions do you ask to suss out if they’ll do the job correctly? No one wants to drop thousands of dollars for shoddy work they’ll need someone else to redo.
This solid advice on how to get bids on home projects can help you make the right choice on whom to hire so you won’t waste your money or get overcharged.
6. Set Up a Home Gym for Less
Due to shutdowns and social distancing, 2020 became the year of the home gym.
Rather than dropping a couple grand on a Peloton bike, embrace being thrifty and create a home gym for less than $100. Let this article on DIY fitness gear inspire you to use stuff you already have around the house to get a workout in.
7. Update Your Home’s Interior Without Buying a Thing
Interior decorators know how to make a space shine. We turned to a couple pros for advice on how to freshen up the rooms we’ve been looking at day in and day out.
These tips on how to refresh your home don’t even require a trip to the store.
8. Rehab Old Furniture to Save on Buying Something Brand New
You know how the saying goes. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Those chairs your neighbors put out on the curb could be perfect in your home with a little TLC.
We break down the basics of furniture rehab so you can breathe new life into your latest thrift store purchase. Not only can you save money, but you could flip your finds and make a profit.
9. Know Where to Shop for Cheap Home Decor
Buying something new to give your home’s interior a facelift doesn’t have to be a financial setback. You just have to know where to look.
Start with this list of 20 cheap home decor stores. From rugs and furniture to lighting and decor, you can find what you need without having to sell a kidney to afford it.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.